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Thread: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

  1. #1
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    As I was net surfing the other day I ran across a test of the Weiss Distribution Technique that had a couple of videos to show the difference it made. I had thought what I was doing was good but the extraction videos showed a new target to aim for.

    I could easily pick the difference in the way the coffee came through the screen on the bottomless group handle and became determined to try it myself.

    I got myself a nice sized sewing needle and sunk it (eye first) into a small handle--a 3 inch stick from the garden--fastened with a bit of epoxy glue.

    I did my usual dose into the filter basket, and stirred the result with the needle. It levelled off the dose so well it didnt need any other work.

    I tamped and locked and threw the lever.

    RESULT--the most even extraction ever! and a new "best taste" for a straight doppio ristretto--sweet chocolate and fruit without a hint of bitterness or sourness.

    The WDT is now "standard operating procedure" at my place.

    Greg

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    The WDT is now "standard operating procedure" at my place.
    I must have been looking at same site Greg. being fairly new still to the CS scene, I gave it a go and was impressed also. My tool is a small thin cake tester that my Mother in Law used to have years ago, and being the sentimental type I never wanted to throw it out cos it had a cute top/handle on it! it is much thinner than the usual cake testers. as to the funnel used... I cut the botom off a small tupperware container and its pretty useless actually! :-/ will have to do some more lateral thinking as to what I may use for that :-?

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    have you got a link for the site? im sure alot of other csers wouldnt mind having a look.

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    http://www.home-barista.com/weiss-distribution-technique.html

    Google is everybodys friend!!! ;)

  5. #5
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Thats the article I read alright!

    Suepergran--I just use one of the clear plastic yoghurt cups with both the top and bottom cut off. It sits neatly in the top of the basket and is only about 3 cm tall. It works a treat and has lasted almost a year so far.

    Greg

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Ran some tests on the WDT.....with some great results, will edit this post when I get to work ;)

    thanks Greg :D

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    I stopped using it for a while and noticed the difference - back on the wagon with it and will not look back! I use a small screwdriver (ones used for micro electronics) and have found that as long as I do it after dosing the first half of the coffee it still provides great results. this means I dont have to worry about doing the plastic cup thing as with only half the grounds they dont escape the basket.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    The "nutating" tamp achieves the same objectives (verified by experimentation) but doesnt involve any additional hardware.... ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Ok, work was too busy to post results so here goes,
    I ran six tests (shots)

    Note: all shots poured with a naked synesso double.

    The shots:
    2 x normal, dose, tap, tap, level, tamp (shot 1 to watch pour and drink as short black, shot 2 for milk)

    2 x full WDT, dose, tap, tap, WDT, level, tamp (shot 1 to watch pour and drink as short black, shot 2 for milk)

    2 x half WDT, dose 3/4 grinds, tap, WDT, dose, level, tamp (shot 1 to watch pour and drink as short black, shot 2 for milk)


    Results:
    Pours-
    Norm. * * - channeling with blonding around 15 - 20 sec mark, very uneven flow from different parts/sides of the basket, overextracted in some parts, underextracted in others.....not a good shot produced.

    WDT -Beautiful pour, no blonding at all, slight tiger striping toward very end of shot, very even, formed central stream early on and maintained throughout, thick, perfect!

    1/2 WDT -Virtually the same as full WDT!

    Taste comparison
    Short Black
    Normal was a little bitter on the pallette as expected due to the blonding, it lacked body. low on mouthfeel, watery for lack of a better word?
    WDT and Half WDT produced a much much better shot, more choc and caramel without the bitterness of the blonding. (one of the best shots ive ever had from my roast :o)

    latte
    As to be expected, the WDT method produced a better, more rounded coffee in both instances, whilst the normal(my norm)method was perfectly acceptable in milk, the WDT method worked its way through the milk better.

    Conclusion:
    This will also be the new SOP in my home from now on too! Unless Im making a heap of em that is, as its quite fiddly.....but worth it for 2 ppl ;)

    Thanks again Greg for bringing this method up again, I hadnt tried it since my Silvia, before I PIDed it!

    Cheers
    Warren




  10. #10
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Hi Mal,

    I know the nutating tamp is supposed to get the same result, it was also recommended by Jim Schulman as his favourite.

    However there must be a nutating technique I cant get right because the WDT is lots better for me. I tried them both with the bottomless group handle and my results match WSullys.

    I didnt trial the 1/2 WDT as for me a 1/2 would be extra work.

    Computer, credit card, beans, car, roaster, exhaust fan, cooler, one-way bags, scale, grinder, yoghurt funnel, WDT pin, tamper, machine, cup, steaming jug, fridge, milk, spoons, sugar, hand, mouth.

    The one extra piece doesnt seem significant to me. :D ;D

    Greg

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 62574042724A5748444941250 link=1271323648/9#9 date=1271810026
    However there must be a nutating technique I cant get right because the WDT is lots better for me.
    Its a pity that Jim Schulman or someone of equal note havent taken the time to put together a video demo and explanation of how to do this properly.

    I think where most people get it wrong though, is to use an action that replicates a coin spinning around its edge on a table-top. That is not actually the action you need to employ but rather, you need to use the base of the tamper such that it positively displaces the grounds around and through the basket ahead of it, while using little or no additional weight on the Tamper.

    There are a number of hydraulic pumps, motors and metering devices that use this principle of operation so maybe if you do a search for how these operate, you may get a better idea of the wrist action to employ. Its a bit more difficult to do with one of Gregs fitted Tampers but still possible....

    Mal.

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Greg, thank you for posting this valuable information. My grinder is a bit clumpy. So this morning I tried the WDT.

    I was a bit, yeah right, like its going to do much. To my shock, it was a much better shot that I had ever experienced!

    I got wonderful tiger stripes and it seemed to dribble out a much richer colour! I too will be adding this to the way I do my morning coffee business.

    Many thanks for posting!

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    I think one of the big things this technique does for us "lower end" grinder users is break up clumps, not such an issue for you mal with you swanky new Mazzer Kony-E ;)(so jealous!)

    I tried the"nutating" tamp when i first heard mal mention it quite a while ago.....worked ok for me, i personally just couldnt get consistent results, and im sure its my technique.

    I find after ive done the WDT the grinds are light and fluffy, just like mal describes what comes out of his grinder as standard, sure clumps dont happen with all the beans i grind in my SJ......but for some reason it tends to happen with most my favorites ::)go figure ;D

    cheers
    warren

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    I found a very small whisk in the draw this morning, so I half filled the basket and then in no particular order I whisked the grounds around and then I continued to fill the basket and collapse, level and tamp as per normal.

    Without doubt, the 2 best pours from my Giotto and Mazzer mini I have seen with the naked pf.


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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    I read this with interest and gave it a go this morning.
    I dont have a naked portafilter so I cant make any comments there but the grounds in the basket were definitely much more uniform in consistency than I could get with just a tap, tap approach.
    It changed the grind/dose required for a good pour. The two shots made were definitely better than the two I previously pulled with the "standard" technique. That said Im not prepared to say categorically that its the bees knees but I think it does make it easier for a less skilled coffee-maker (me :D) to get a consistent platform and hence more reproducible shot in the cup.
    ps I used a stanless steel skewer FWIW

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    just a thought (not tried it yet)

    why not just use a simple wooden/plastic tooth-pick (so you dont scratch the basket) and stir the coffee grounds inside the basket without using a plastic yoghurt cup? would this deliver most of the benefit?

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 02000A073C110A070611630 link=1271323648/15#15 date=1272339383
    just a thought (not tried it yet)

    why not just use a simple wooden/plastic tooth-pick (so you dont scratch the basket) and stir the coffee grounds inside the basket without using a plastic yoghurt cup? would this deliver most of the benefit?
    This is axactly what I have been doing with good results - definitely getting a more even distribution and better pour. *I fill the basket until the top of the mound is about level with the top edge, settle, stir with a bamboo skewer, settle again and then add more, level and tamp.

    Marie

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Whilst I have never actually noticed any particular problems with clumping or uneven distribution of the grounds in the basket or subsequent channelling etc I was happy to give the "needle technique" a try. To my surprise it produced a superior pour, with the much sought-after tiger-striping almost throughout. It was a great cup of coffee and I will be useing this technique in future.

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    A had a little time and some poorly roasted beans to play with this morning.

    So five shots with standard tamp (push straight down 1/2 turn to polish)
    Five shots with nutating and standard tamp.
    Five shots with WDT and standard tamp.

    Difference? None. All started blonding at the same time, around the 22sec mark. Blonding is subjective so I might be calling different to others.

    Maybe the doser/grinder is making a difference.

    Take my Rocky DL off the shelf and try again.
    Five shots standard, blonding about 10 sec mark.
    Five shots nutating, blonding about 15 sec mark.
    Five shots WDT, blonding about 16 sec mark.

    Then I made a couple of lattes with some good beans and my normal grinder. For a laugh I tried tamping with my palm. No difference to a standard tamp.

    So WDT and nutating seem to work depending on the grinder/doser/doserless. But I am comparing a Rocky DL to a Robur Doser. Not really a test.
    The Rocky clumped far, far more. Also tapping to collapse the mound didnt get rid of the clumps, were as what ever clumps the Robur produced disappeared when tapped.

    I have a couple of other flat burr dosered grinders, better than a Rocky but far off a Robur. I might try a few more experiments on the weekend.

    I also am using Synesso baskets which have straighter walls than a standard basket. Maybe that also makes a difference?

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Quote Originally Posted by 527F7B777A160 link=1271323648/10#10 date=1271843598
    you need to use the base of the tamper such that it positively displaces the grounds around and through the basket ahead of it
    what does this mean mal? can you explain it a little further.

    thanks

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Ill give it a go "moey".....

    As opposed to the concept of a coin on its side rotating around on its edge, which, when transferred to the motion of a Tamper in my opinion, just compresses the coffee around the edges and creates a peak in the middle; this isnt nutational motion to my understanding of the dynamics involved.

    Rather than the "coin simile" think rather of a toy Spinning Top. Once it is spun up to speed and allowed to settle, gyroscopic forces overcome that of gravity to the point where the top is quite stable, rotating about the central axis at the point of the Top (that which is in contact with the floor or other surface).

    After some time, as the rotation velocity continually diminishes, a situation is reached where the gyroscopic forces can no longer maintain the stable equilibrium with applied gravitational forces. The Top begins a precession motion causing the entire Top to begin to wobble about its rotational axis such that the upper axis datum scribes an ever increasing circular orbit. Theres a pretty good description of all of this that I found here on Wikipedia.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precession and here.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutation This motion is what I understand to be a Nutating Motion.

    It is because of the true positive displacement characteristic of this explanation of the motion, that allows it to be used, with a Tamper, to positively displace the grounds ahead of the base of the Tamper.

    In all honesty, I wouldnt get too hung up on all of this. All youre trying to do is ensure that any and all voids within the bulk of the untamped coffee are removed and that this is done in such a way as to ensure that the bulk density of the coffee is even throughout the general mass of the coffee before you tamp it. Youre basically trying to use the Tamper Base as a kind of Grader Blade when topsoil is being spread on a sports ground prior to laying the turf.... Maybe thats not the best example to use but its all I can think of at the moment, Im sorry.... :-/

    Hope some of this is helpful "moey".... ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    I can say with certainty that the WDT improves consistency ALOT with my cheap lil EM0480.

    I find myself measuring beans by volume now, WDT with cut out cup in the portafilter, and then tamping and pulling the shot.


    I notice that you dont really even need to overdose to get consistenc shots with the single basket. But the distribution is critical!

    I would WDT then tap the portafilter to let the loose coffee settle by gravity.

    9-10g (one shotglass of beans) + single basket + WDT + bench tap makes perfect shots every single time. No kiddin!

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    Re: Distribution--between dosing and tamping

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    thanks Mal,
    that was alot *clearer but youre right *im not going to get hung up on it b/c im quite happy with my current technique but i would still enjoy experimenting with it a bit.
    for anyone else who is interested then you can have a look at this vid to see what Mal meant when describing the coin simile :

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxTJUDnIpbI&feature=related[/media]

    and this one to see the example of the spinning top:

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC5HuGGIX7k[/media]



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